Bureaucrat Beat: Fast Backward, Group Craziness and Homeland Gorilla

Talk about back to the future. Seems some vacationers in a motorhome ran into some real trouble on Highway 395. A major transmission issue developed as they zipped along the scenic miles. Suddenly, the driver found himself with only one gear – reverse. So, what do you do? Drive backwards, what else? This is where positive bureaucracy comes in, literally. A CHP officer stopped the driver who was, to be sure, in the proper flow of traffic although he was southbound backwards. All's well, as Shakespeare said, that ends well, thanks to the officer.

The Bureaucrat Beat staff decided to go into a group therapy session around our favoriteface.jpg card table. We're fearful that some of our crusty cynicsm has turned soft. In a review of recent Bureaucrat Beats, we've said, well, lots of nice things about bureaucrats!! Have we turned soft? Caved in?

So, we pondered our childhoods, deep psychological fears that may huddle in the dark corners, forcing us to occasionally be nice. We quizzed each other's motives and concluded that nothing is all bad, and we lately have seen the good. End of story.

One more bureaucratic plus. One of our faithful listeners called us to say that Mammoth Hospital has a program that reimburses local people a modest amount when they have to go out of town for cancer treatment. That shows they care. Cudos.

But, wait. An editorial headlined "Department of Brazen Bureaucracy". Who can resist that? The New York Times opinion reveals how Homeland Security took over handling disasters from FEMA, only not very well. Remember Katrina?

hs.jpg Congress took moves to name FEMA as main coordinator for national emergencies. The short version of what happened next? Homeland Security ignored Congress and declared itself national disaster coordinator, ignoring state and local disaster plan proposals, with plans of its own to create 15 regional diaster areas with way more bureaucracy.

Congress went ballistic. Let's hope we don't have a major disaster before they all figure out who's in charge.

Meanwhile, in Sacramento, Senator Roy Ashburn who covers Inyo County, announced passage of an Assembly Bill that he co-authored, that sets up a uniform statewide EMT and Paramedic licensing registry.

Seems this bill came up in response to bizarre goings on around the state. Like dangerous criminals serving as emergency responders due to lax licensing and minimal or non-existent background checks. Okay. Public needs protection, the Senator acts. We like that.

Finally, lots of bla-bla-bla this week about the half dozen other plane wrecks searchers have found in the Sierra mountains while they are looking for famous aviator Steve Fossett.

Some comments we've heard: "If you're rich, they look for you until they find you. If you're not, you stay lost." Well, could be. It's like, "if you're rich, you get better medical care, legal representation, you know the drill."

That's life. Hey, it took more than 60 years to find the remains of those World War II pilots up in the Sierra, now found frozen for decades.

Anyway, we'll look into the crash discoveries situation and see if folks were just overlooked or truly concealed in the rugged Sierra. It can happen. Rich or poor.

This is Benett Kessler, signing off for Bureaucrat Beat. We await your comments on our lives in the Eastern Sierra and beyond.

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